Legislators call for better transport connections to five 'new cities'

Chen Huizhi
Faster rail and public transportation links with rest of city and Yangtze River Delta region will ensure success of development strategy, delegates say.
Chen Huizhi

Better transport connections will ensure the success of Shanghai's core strategy to build five "new cities" in its suburban areas through 2025, deputies said in their suggestions to government during the ongoing Shanghai People's Congress.

The economy of the five "new cities," in Jiading, Qingpu, Songjiang, Fengxian and Nanhui, will account for one-third of the whole city, and their household population is expected to reach 3.6 million by 2025.

The connections between the five "new cities" and the rest of the city are wanting in terms of public transport and railway choices, said Yu Qiujing, secretary of the board and director of the legal affairs office of Shanghai Yimin Food No. 1 Factory Group Co, a Bright Food International company.

"The Metro miles in suburban districts are disproportionate to those in urban areas, and there are only a few public transport means from the 'new cities' to airports and major railway terminals," she said.

"This restricts the development of the 'new cities' to a certain extent."

Yu suggested that a maglev line be built to connect all five "new cities" and also to connect them to airports and major railway terminals.

"This line can also potentially be connected to future maglev lines connecting Shanghai, Hangzhou and Nanjing," she said.

This, she added, will significantly boost the travel convenience for people between the "new cities," the rest of Shanghai and other parts of the Yangtze River Delta region.

A maglev line connecting Longyang Road Metro Station and the Pudong International Airport has been operating for 18 years and runs at a top speed of 430 kilometers per hour.

Wang Zhenzhong, general manager of Shanghai Tianyang Steel Pipe Co, a company based in Fengxian District, supported Yu's opinion.

"Shanghai aims to reduce the travel time from urban areas to other key junctions in the Yangtze River Delta region to one hour, but it takes two hours or longer to travel from the city center to some suburban areas by public transport," he said.

Considering the long distances between the five "new cities" and the rest of the city, Wang suggested that an urban railway, with a top speed between that of the Metro and of the high-speed railway, be built to connect the "new cities" and to further connect them to the national railway network.

He suggested that Baoshan and Jinshan, where no "new city" is planned, also be connected by the urban railway to the "new cities."

Towns with high economic potential, such as Huaxin Town in Qingpu District, should be given priority in the extended urban public transport network's coverage, said Lu Qing, director of the board of supervisors of Shanghai Qingpu Industrial Zone Development Group Co.

Adjacent to Hongqiao transportation hub and business district, Huaxin is the most developed of eight towns in the district and has a population of 235,000, Lu said.

It had been incorrectly believed that Metro Line 13 would be extended westward to the town but, as that hadn't happened, Lu suggested that Metro Line 25 be planned in its direction.

Line 25 is intended to go through north Minhang District and Xujiahui, passing Hongqiao business district and the National Exhibition and Convention Center, and then connect to Line 13 in the west.

"The line is rather short and a by-route in Huaxin will add many more passengers to it and provide a long expected travel convenience to residents there," Lu said.

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